Competency Areas for Wilderness Stewardship Specialists

Wilderness stewardship specialists must demonstrate varying levels of skill in each of six competency areas:
  1. Wilderness History, Law, Regulation, and Policy – KSAs needed to interpret and implement the history and laws of the National Wilderness Preservation System, and agency wilderness stewardship regulations and policies. 
  2. Managing Special Provisions – KSA needed to manage the special provisions identified in 1964 Wilderness Act and in subsequent enabling legislation.
  3. Wilderness Planning – KSAs needed to address wilderness stewardship needs in programmatic and project level planning processes.
  4. Wilderness Field Skills – KSAs needed to accomplish specific field tasks in a variety of wilderness settings.
  5. Visitor Use Management & Monitoring - KSAs needed to manage and monitor visitor use in wilderness.
  6. Natural & Cultural Resources Management & Monitoring - KSAs needed to manage and monitor natural and cultural resources in wilderness.

To identify the skills you need to develop, simply identify your agency and position in the tables below. This will identify your expected level of expertise. With that information, click on any of the competency areas above to identify the competencies you need to acquire. You can use this information with your supervisor to develop and prioritize your Individual Development and Training Plan.

The competency areas above were developed and extensively reviewed by an interagency team in 2006, drawing from work originally produced by the Forest Service and by the National Park Service in the early 1990s in response to requests from the Forest Service Corporate Training Office and from the Office of Personnel Management. A review of these competencies and the trainings recommended to achieve them is currently underway. To contribute to this effort, please contact Dan Abbe.

Wilderness Specialists

Positions by Level and Agency

Bureau of Land Management Fish and Wildlife Service Forest Service National Park Service
Entry Level

Field Office wilderness staff

Resource Specialists who frequently work in wilderness

Seasonal wilderness specialist

Wilderness Rangers

Seasonal wilderness & backcountry park rangers

Full Performance Level

Field Office wilderness lead

Refuge Managers & Deputy Refuge Managers

Refuge Operations Specialist

Wilderness Manager or Specialist

Forest and District staff with wilderness as part of their duties

Permanent wilderness & backcountry park rangers

Park wilderness specialists

Expert Level

HQ-410 staff

State wilderness lead

Carhart Rep

National Wilderness Coordinator

Regional Wilderness Coordinators

Carhart Rep

Forest wilderness staff specialists with wilderness as a major part of their duties

Regional Wilderness Program Managers

National Wilderness Program Manager and Steering Committee Member

WWSR Director

Carhart Rep

WASO Wilderness Staff and Regional Coordinators

Carhart Rep

Bureau of Land Management

Entry Level

  • Field Office wilderness staff
  • Resource Specialists who frequently work in wilderness

Full Performance Level

  • Field Office wilderness lead

Expert Level

  • HQ-410 staff
  • State wilderness lead
  • Carhart Rep

Fish and Wildlife Service

Entry Level

  • Seasonal wilderness specialist

Full Performance Level

  • Refuge Managers & Deputy Refuge Managers
  • Refuge Operations Specialist

Expert Level

  • National Wilderness Coordinator
  • Regional Wilderness Coordinators
  • Carhart Rep

Forest Service

Entry Level

  • Wilderness Rangers

Full Performance Level

  • Refuge Managers & Deputy Refuge Managers
  • Refuge Operations Specialist

Expert Level

  • Forest wilderness staff specialists with wilderness as a major part of their duties
  • Regional Wilderness Program Managers
  • National Wilderness Program Manager and Steering Committee Member
  • WWSR Director
  • Carhart Rep

National Park Service

Entry Level

  • Seasonal wilderness & backcountry park rangers

Full Performance Level

  • Permanent wilderness & backcountry park rangers
  • Park wilderness specialists

Expert Level

  • WASO Wilderness Staff and Regional Coordinators
  • Carhart Rep